[LMB] OT: UK/US language quirk

Marc Wilson marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk
Sat Jun 3 00:58:46 BST 2017


On Fri, 2 Jun 2017 11:47:41 -0400, Aruvqan <aruvqan at gmail.com> wrote:

>
>>> When I took Old English, I was delighted to learn that I could memorize an entire set of verbs with "drink, drank, drunk....." and the accompanying mental soundtrack. Alas, it did have a side effect in a mild craving for a beer. Or ale.
>> Ah.  That's interesting: I wonder if that's the origin of that rule
>> about vowel sounds?
>>
>> It's one of those things everybody seems to know without ever being
>> taught.
>>
>> It's always "ping-pong" and never "pong-ping".  And so on.
>Very interesting. And now I am flashing on the kids in To Kill a 
>Mockingbird chanting 'hing, hang, hung' in the film.

That's another example.  There's a technical term for it which I've
forgotten, but basically when you have a repetitive phrase with varying
vowel sounds, there's an order they follow: "Bish bash bosh" - it's even
observed in other languages.  "Ding dang dong" in Frère Jacques:

	Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
	Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
	Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
	Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.

Even "Big Bad Wolf" follows the pattern.
-- 
My parents went to a planet where the dominant life-form has no
bilateral symmetry and all I got was this stupid F-shirt.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list